The aim of retailers large and small is to encourage customers to spend money in their store and to return time and time again. So they use a whole barrage of retail marketing tools to achieve their goals. But the basic principle is to reward customers for buying their products, the more the buy the bigger the reward they can claim.
Customers are always looking for bargains and for ways to cut down on the weekly shopping bills. So any type of rewards scheme which promises something for nothing is attractive to them. The set their sights on choosing a specific gift from the rewards catalogue they have received, or getting some shopping for nothing once they have built up enough points.
Competition between retailers is fierce and they continually try to outdo each other with their rewards and loyalty programs which costs large amounts of cash each year to run. Points are awarded each time the customer shops and swipes their card at the checkout, so they can quickly accrue sufficient points to redeem for their free gift or in exchange for some free shopping.
The points reward catalogues which are sent to a customers home, shows all the gifts that can be purchased with points. The selection is quite diverse and often includes days out, entrance tickets for cinemas, air miles, hotel nights and a whole host of other items. Some of the gifts are redeemed for points only and others are a mixture of points and cash.
Rewards program aim to reward customer loyalty by giving them money off vouchers or double points when they purchase specific products. These vouchers usually have to be used within a specified time frame or they become invalid. This is to encourage the customer into the shop within that time frame.
Retailers will use any means at their disposal to encourage customers to buy products. Special offers are often at the centre of store advertising events and promotions to encourage sales of items the store has purchased in bulk, that may not be selling fast enough, or to introduce new products to their range.
The buy one get one free tool has become very popular with all retailers not just the larger supermarkets. But it is also the source of some controversy. Is it really a bargain if you get one for free if you only need the one, particularly if it is a perishable item? Many retailers often sell the single product cheaper, so instead of buying the offer pack, two singles give more value for money.
Retail marketing practices seem to have crossed over into many areas of daily life and are not restricted to supermarkets or the smaller general retail shops. These practices are used in everything from food items to clothing and even to cars and furniture to holidays and credit cards usage. Whether they are worth it or not really depend on whether you would have purchased the product or service without the special offer.
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